Waves of heat radiated from the concrete as I leave the cocoon of my day job. Temperatures skyrocket twenty-five to thirty degrees. The hot wind slapping my face reminds me of a blast furnace. Even my eyes burn from its unwanted embrace.
As I enter the parking garage the heat and humidity mix makes me move with a purpose to my Ford Taurus. As soon as the engine starts I turn on the air-conditioner and adjust the fan to a near flash-freeze setting. My body demands immediate relief from the triple-digit inferno.
As I settle into the driver’s seat and my body cooperates by not going into a heat stroke state though I fear heat exhaustion was mere seconds away, I unscrew the cap on my bottle of water. Condensation covered it immediately with sweat when I exited the day job’s building. It’s cool, clear contents help me return to normalcy. The combination of water with the refrigerated air make sure I can survive the hour drive home.
During the trip I notice several drivers sipping from their water bottles. Observation finds no one driving with their windows rolled down. The time and temperature signs signal the dangerous warning as I see triple digit numbers flashing. Some are as high as 111. I am grateful for my air-conditioning. I am blessed as I sip on the cool, clear, chilled water.
As I slow my car to a stop in front of my home, put the transmission in parking gear, turn off the air-conditioning and exit back into the blast furnace I again feel hot wind slapping my face and my eyes burn from its unwanted embrace.
The temperature feels even hotter as I walk to the door that leads into my home. I cool air greets me as I open the door and walk into the entry hall. I closed the door behind me glad I have a barrier between the heat and the cool. And I reflect with amazement remembering my parents, grandparents, and even myself living in the heat without Mr. Willis Haviland Carrier’s wonderful invention.
While we dream of the good old days, it is wise to remember they really weren’t that good. We had no air-conditioned cars, workplaces, schools, businesses, or homes. Heck, we didn’t even have bottled water.
The words of the Apostle Paul from the Bible come to mind. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” – Philippians 4:11. I was happy without air-conditioning as a child. I am happy with it as an adult. The key isn’t having or not having it, but to be satisfied. Of course, on a hot day, it is easier to be happy when cool.